Pakistan Equities closed red on Monday with benchmark KSE100 Index settling below 40,700 points level. The market kicked off the day on a positive note, reaching an intraday high of +73 points. However, as the day progressed, the index came under pressure, making an intraday low of -486 points, closing down 171 points. Market opened on a lackluster note but a bounce back was witnessed later in energy intensive stocks after the Economic Coordination Meting (ECC) meeting held Monday could not finalize a hike in gas tariffs. Recovery was witnessed in the second half as investors took the opportunity to accumulate stocks on attractive valuations after the ECC decided against immediate hike in gas prices, leaving the final decision to the Prime Minister. Volumes stood low as only 112 million shares exchanged hands in KSE-All Shares Index with most institutional investors waiting for policy direction from the government. Major participation was witnessed in retail plays i.e. Unity Foods Limited, Fauji Foods Limited and TRG Pakistan Limited. Hi Tech Lubricants Limited (HTL) gained 1.84 percent following announcement of its FY18 result where it declared an EPS of Rs 6.55, along with final cash dividend of Rs 1.75. Elixir Securities’ analyst Muhammad Arbash expects market to post a technical rebound around 4000 levels, followed by a further downslide if the government continues to delay tough decisions needed to control the twin deficits. Banks led the decline at the local bourse where the big 5 banks contributed -92 points to the index. Among major banks, Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Allied Bank Limited (ABL), MCB, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and United Bank Limited (UBL) were the major losers. Major heavyweights namely HBL, Bank Alflah, PPL, Engro and MCB cumulatively contributed -126 points. Published in Daily Times, September 11th 2018.